Papplewick is a day, weekly, and full boarding preparatory school for around 190 boys between the ages of 6 and 13. Situated in 15 acres of land opposite Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, Papplewick has an excellent record for academic achievement and feeds many of the UK's top independent senior schools including Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Wellington, Stowe and Bradfield. Scholarships in every discipline to top schools are regularly achieved. The average class size is thirteen, and there is one full-time member of staff for every seven boys.
The head is Tom Bunbury, who has been at the school since 1993 as both deputy head and head of maths, and became headmaster in 2004. He and his wife live at the school with their four young children, and two-thirds of the staff also live on site, which creates a truly family environment and a special rapport between staff and children.
The school prides itself on having a modern, family-friendly approach to boarding. Younger children may be day boys up until the summer term of Year 6, when all become boarders, to give them the best possible preparation for life at their senior schools. The aim is that boarding should be fun, and a comprehensive programme of evening and weekend activities ensures that the boys are kept interested and amused. All are encouraged to try as many different sports as possible, and music, art and drama also flourish at the school.
Some unusual activities are part of daily life at Papplewick - for instance, the school runs a hugely popular herpetology club, with over 90 members, who look after snakes, bearded dragons, geckos, tarantulas and other creepy crawlies, many of them pets for individual boys. Polo and wall climbing are on the sporting activity list, and there's also the opportunity to design and test rockets in the school grounds. As well as academic, sporting and cultural excellence, Papplewick aims to provide boys with the confidence and security they need to fulfil their potential, and the school strives to promote enthusiasm for life, contribution to the community and kindness to others amongst all its pupils.
The most recent Ofsted inspection report (March 2011), rated the overall quality of the school as 'outstanding,' and commented: 'Pupils are respectful, confident and articulate.'